Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Spirit :)

I really don't understand how women's minds work (mine included). On my birthday, Mr. F surprised me with flowers, chocolate and Happy Spirit...

I was pleasantly surprised because Mr. F's family doesn't celebrate birthdays and especially not past the age of 10 so he'd made a special effort for me. Next day, I was ill with fever and flu and was generally "down" but went to work and had a normal day, came home and crashed...

Started missing mommy and chicken soup and wanted attention but Mr. F went to sleep! So (and yes, I am a spoiled brat), I threw a tantrum and wept my heart out... Mr. F mumbled something, patted my head and continued sleeping!! For some reason this made me super angry (poor Mr. F who'd done nothing to deserve this...) and I responded with silent treatment and being really loud (think: ringing alarm clock, slamming doors etc.) to get Mr. F to wake up but it didn't work.

I eventually cried myself to sleep (*insert sheepish look here*). Next day was pretty awkward... I'd been bad but couldn't figure out how to make up for it and restore peace. A penitent kiss worked and thankfully, all's well.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lahore for the Weekend!

Chilly mornings, sunny afternoons, foggy evenings. New family, new friends, good food... I'm falling in love with Lahore :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Aunty Party

Yesterday, Mr. F and I attended a company dinner at our CEO's house. I was there as "the spouse" :-p

It so happens, whenever I plan ahead for an event (outfit, make-up, hair, jewelry etc.), everything that can possibly go wrong, does. There was no electricity, so I ended up having to go to my parents' house to iron my clothes, didn't have time to dry my sopping wet hair and thanks to violence in the city, the bank closed early so I couldn't get my jewelry :-(

Still, we managed to be there on time. Mr. F sat in the drawing room with the men while I was escorted to the ladies' section... I was easily the youngest person there, everyone else was an aunty with kids in college; some even had grandchildren! They were all sophisticated aunties though... clad in elegant saris and beautiful jewelry :)

After indulging in polite small talk, the aunty I was sitting next to drawled:
"Beta, it's hot today isn't it?"
Gaia: nods in agreement, "Jee, it's very still outside... there's no wind"
Aunty 1: "Thank God, I thought my hormones were acting up again... you know? I thought I was getting hot flashes..."
Gaia: :O :oO

The conversation revolved around kids, family, pampers, college admissions, the moral degradation of society, maasis and cooks and the merits of Nixor vs. KGS vs. CAS...

I feel old!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


On Friday evening we went for dinner with a group of Mr. F's friends. Mr. F and I were already pretty exhausted since we'd got back from work rather late but we'd planned to "socialize" and not snooze the weekend away.

Everyone gathered at a common friend's house. They had a baby who had to be put to sleep before we could leave for dinner so the "men" smoked and drank Absolut vodka and Jack Daniels while I thumbed through magazines and pretended to look busy. The only other female was trying to put the baby to sleep in another room. Thankfully, Mr. F does not drink but it was still pretty awkward... and while I'm totally fine when my "western" friends drink, it's quite a shocker when Pakistani-Muslim, Ramadan-fasting, Friday-praying men with hijab-wearing wives and mothers take to the bottle... (yes, I know I have double standards but that's just the way it is... :S).

When the baby finally slept at around 11, we decided to go to The Patio. It's a quaint little place reminiscent of cafes in Islamabad. The aunty who runs the place is also the chef and she came up to the table and explained the menu (Surf n Turf = Shrimp and prawn... lol).

We were served around midnight and I was hard put to keep my eyes open let alone make polite small talk :P. Food was ok... not great and the portions were tiny! Definitely not somewhere I would take family.

I was feeling rather grumpy on the way back so Mr. F offered to get me dessert... Grumpy Gaia + dessert (preferably something with nuts, chocolate and cream) = Happy Gaia.

On Saturday, I did laundry and ironed my work clothes... I find ironing incredibly soothing... or maybe it's just the OCD in me wanting to smooth out all the wrinkles :P

On Sunday, I started making pasta but Mr. F took over and my easy white sauce pasta was transformed into a gourmet dish (with chopped parsley, sautéed mushrooms and the works :)).

Thank you Mr. F... I know I'm not an easy person to live with but you're very very patient.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep,

Robert Frost

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tax Returns

It's the first time I'll be filing tax returns in Pakistan... except, there are no guidelines and no procedure! I'm supposed to find an "agent" to do it for me :P

I remember the mad rush to do it on 15th April in the US, long lines at the post office and the happy feeling I'd get afterwards :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The problem with having a spouse working in the same organization (same division, same office!) is the awkwardness that comes with it... Plus, Mr. F is 10 levels senior to me so he eventually gets to decide where I end up :-P. Alhamdulilah, it's nice having a husband who takes care of things but I'd much rather have someone else make these decisions... or leave it up to fate :-|. It's also really annoying when we come home and Mr. F goes, "You should have been more assertive during the meeting." (Coming from someone else, it wouldn't have been a big deal but when it's the husband, it just sounds wrong!!! You're NOT by boss!)

Much to my consternation, I am rapidly turning into that woman (the nagging, controlling, loud-mouthed desi wife :().
10:00 pm: Husband dear, we need to get the air-conditioning fixed (Mr. F nods in agreement)
Midnight: And we need to collect the sofa cushions from Bella Interiors tomorrow (Mr. F doesn't bother replying)
6:00 am: Aunty H was asking about dinner this Saturday? Should I say yes? (Mr. F replies with a non-committal grunt and turns over, Gaia fuming)
8:00 am: Mr. F trying to be cute and cuddly. Gaia... fuming (Mr. F baffled... makes Gaia want to laugh but she controls herself and continues with the silent treatment)
8:05 am: tears trickling down Gaia's cheeks... picture of abject misery (I do this rather well... :P but save it for special occasions).
8:07 am: Mr. F capitulates... (sort of). Promises to take care of everything... happy couple :)
9:00 pm: Husband dear, we need to get the ac fixed... grunt,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Case Studies

1. Husband watches tv all evening and ignores wifey. When the electricity goes (hence, no more tv), husband shows up and acts all sweet, attentive and sappy. How should wifey react? Should she welcome husband with open arms and a beaming smile or put on headphones, jack up the volume and pretend not to notice??

2. Wifey makes brownies. Husband can smell them and they smell good! But, husband makes it a point to say brownies are unhealthy doses of unadulterated sugar and fat and wifey should eat healthy food. Husband asks for brownie. How should wifey react? Should she serve him brownie with chocolate sauce and a loving glance or retort " brownies are unhealthy doses of unadulterated sugar and fat and husband should eat healthy food"

Monday, October 4, 2010

It Comes Out So Wrong

I'm one of those people who can't handle emotions... Back in 2004, when I was leaving home to start college, I spent an entire week being rude to my mom because I couldn't figure out how to let her know how much I'd miss her... Of course, I was engulfed by remorse the minute she left and spent the next 2 months feeling guilty but thankfully mommy dearest understood.

Now, each time Mr. F has to travel somewhere, I spend the day before sulking and generally being mean and the moment he leaves, I feel ultra-remorseful :-(

Bad, bad Gaia...